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Image: AP
As Giorgia Meloni is all set to become Italy’s Prime Minister after her Brothers of Italy party won 26% votes, it is expected that Rome will bolster its ties with Taiwan and change its stance regarding China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In a written response to CNA before elections on September 25, Meloni said that Taiwan will be an “important concern” for Italy if she is elected to power.
Meloni asserted, “There is no doubt that Taiwan will be an important concern for Italy” if the center-right alliance led by the Brothers of Italy takes over power. Giorgia Meloni announced that she will promote a new round of “closer cooperation” between Italy and Taiwan in different sectors, including cultural exchanges, tourism, scientific research and semiconductor, as per the CNA report. She emphasised, “These are just some of the areas I want to explore.” Giorgia Meloni described the relations between her party and Taiwan as “sincere friendship.” She stressed that her party, Brothers of Italy, strongly condemns China’s military threat to Taiwan. She called on the European Union to deploy “all political and diplomatic means” to avoid conflicts in the Taiwan Strait. 
Asked if she would continue the Belt and Road initiative memorandum signed between China and Italy, Meloni asserted that her party had criticised the government’s decision to sign the agreement and had termed it “a huge mistake” committed by the Five Star Movement. She stressed that the situation has “deteriorated” since the MoU was between two nations and mentioned the “Chinese government’s concealment of COVID-19 outbreak,” the “crackdown on Hong Kong dissidents and the persecution of minorities such as the Uyghurs”, China’s stance on Russia’s offensive in Ukraine and its “escalating military threat to Taiwan.”
In response to Meloni’s statement regarding China and Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin described China and Italy as “comprehensive strategic partners.” Wenbin stressed that “sound and steady” bilateral ties between two nations serve the interests of China and Italy. Addressing a press briefing on September 26, a Chinese FM spokesperson expressed hope that the new Italian government will follow a “positive and practical China policy” and continue to work with Beijing to uphold mutual interest as well as strengthen cooperation between the two nations. He described questions related to Taiwan China’s “internal affairs” which he stressed needs no foreign intervention. He stated that China calls on certain individuals in Italy. “The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair, which brooks no foreign interference. The one-China principle is an established international consensus and a basic norm of international relations. It is the political prerequisite and foundation for Italy and other countries to establish and develop diplomatic relations with China,” Wang Wenbin said in the press briefing.  
Italy is all set to be led by the first female Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni. The results of the elections held on 25 September showed that the right-wing coalition led by Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party along with Matteo Salvini’s League party and former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia won around 44% of the votes, according to AP. The center-left Democratic Party and its allies received about 26% votes followed by the five-star movement with 15% votes. The elections were held on 25 September after the Mario Draghi-led government collapsed in July. 


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